The Arizona Diamondbacks position players reported to spring training Friday in preparation for their first full squad workout scheduled for Saturday. It will be the team’s first workout since undergoing a roster overhaul in the offseason.
The workouts this spring will help manager Kirk Gibson determine both his batting order and pitching rotation. He said he expects both to fluctuate as the year progresses.
“I have no idea who is going to lead off,” the manager said. “I have no idea who is going to hit third. If the pitcher is hitting, he’ll probably hit ninth. That’s about all I’ve got and I’m not lying.”
Gibson also said that his squad, composed of mostly newcomers, will have to develop chemistry quickly if they hope to avoid finishing in the basement of the National League West again.
“Success makes it a lot easier,” he said. “When things don’t go as planned, that’s when the chemistry is tested. I think good chemistry helps you fight through that and helps you stay on track together.
“If you don’t have chemistry, then you just become selfish. When you become selfish, you have no shot.”
One of the returning D-backs, infielder Stephen Drew, also spoke to the media Friday and said it is different to be considered one of the “older guys” on the roster now.
“I like to still think I’m a little young, but overall you look at the team and the newer guys that are here,” the shortstop said. “I guess you could say I’m just one of the older guys that’s been here for a while so it’s kind of strange to think about in a way.”
Drew, 27, is the longest tenured Diamondback left on the roster after making his major league debut on July 15, 2006. Outfielder Chris Young comes in a close second with his debut on Aug. 10 that same year.
Drew said he is looking forward to a fresh start this season.
“You turn the page. In baseball, you have to do that, one game to the next game,” he said. “It’s a new year, fresh start, got new faces. I think it’s going to be a good year for us and we are going to work hard to get there.”
Sports 620 KTAR’s Craig Grialou contributed to this report